Poised behind a protective hedge of orange cabbage after a sublimely brilliant Die Walküre last night was Christian Thielemann, celebrating his 100th Bayreuth performance. No conductor since Felix Mottl, over a hundred years ago, has conducted as many.
A further cause for celebration was the announcement yesterday that Thielemann has finally signed a contract as artistic adviser to the joint Festival directors, Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Katharina Wagner. The appointment, anticipated since the Wagnerinas took over the directorship last year, has taken a while to formalise. It will give Thielemann a say in casting and conducting decisions, though the half-sisters will continue to have the final word.
On stage last night: